Agrarian Artisan Interview Gift A-long 2019

Agrarian Artisan Interview Gift A-long 2019

Agrarian Artisan, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Agrarian Artisan, who is a crochet designer taking part in the Indie Design Gift A-Long.  She’s known on ravelry as vbracegirdle.

I am a designer, technical editor and tutor. With a degree in maths and a background in finance, I find the logic of pattern writing and charting is an easy blend with designing. One of my first tech edits came about because I queried a pattern in a magazine and was invited to write the errata!

Breeze by Agrarian Artisan

Breeze by Agrarian Artisan

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

I think fibre of all types is in my blood, my grandfather had a textile business in Manchester! My mother was the seamstress of the family, all clothes were homemade. She also knitted but it was my aunt who was the knitter and crocheter and helped me learn both crafts.

What made you want to start designing?

It isn’t something I planned to do, which is why I call myself an accidental designer. Like many people I couldn’t just use patterns, frequently I would adapt them because I didn’t quite like the pattern or I thought it could be done a bit neater, and I guess it all grew from there.

Down Memory Lane Blanket by Agrarian Artisan

Down Memory Lane Blanket by Agrarian Artisan

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

The emergence of the idea into the fabric! Once the hook or needles start to bring the design to life it becomes quite magical.

What inspires you?

Anything and everything – from a leaf on a tree to an exquisite old tile on a floor. Often inspiration just seems to appear from nowhere, but I guess it is simply my surroundings talking to me.
 
Anniversary Mandala CAL by Agrarian Artisan

Anniversary Mandala CAL by Agrarian Artisan

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I am part-time, I am fortunate to have the time to pursue what was a hobby into a glorious creative world.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I don’t really have favourites except perhaps the things I design that are purely things for me.
Precious Gift Bag by Agrarian Artisan

Precious Gift Bag by Agrarian Artisan

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

As my designing grew as an extension of my hobby, I still make things for myself or gifts. I also love to make decorations and garlands for my home at Christmas, in fact my Christmas gift and decoration making making starts in January!

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

I love anything that I receive which is handmade no matter how small. However, if anyone gifted a blanket I would be overwhelmed as I know the amount of work that goes into such a large gift.
Queen of May Wrap by Agrarian Artisan

Queen of May Wrap by Agrarian Artisan

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

I prefer all natural fibres and this year I have made a conscious decision to avoid all acrylic and nylon. I know that those fibres are now good quality (much better than the scratchy acrylic yarn of my youth) and good value, and affordable to many, but they are plastic and we are drowning our planet in plastic.

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

That’s a tough question! I fall in love with each new design as soon as I start making it, so my current favourite is what is on my hook. But if I was pushed I would say Summer Garden Throw – this was a design I submitted to Inside Crochet, I didn’t follow their submission request but started making it and then emailed asking if they would like it. It is made of lacy hexagons which could be adapted easily to a shawl or wrap – and I have made a wrap from them. Hexagons are my favourite shape.
Twits Shawl by Agrarian Artisan

Twits Shawl by Agrarian Artisan

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I am currently working on a blanket for my blanket CAL in February next year. It is made of hexagons which have a simple transitional pattern on them and they are proving to be a lovely relaxing mindful make.

What’s your favourite colour?

Blue, blue, blue and maybe teal

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

This is my second year as a PD, so it is quite new. I love the community party, there is so much happening that it is difficult to keep up and there are so many fabulous designers that I get engrossed in looking through all their designs.
I have to confess that I always look at the 2 games – Designer Hunt and Alphabet Soup; I think they are fun and clever.
 

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

There are so many to choose from, that I just couldn’t make a choice. But the ones that inspire me the most are those that also commit so much of their time and energy to make GAL happen, as well as keeping up with their own designing – and that includes you Loraine blush

Summer Garden Throw by Agrarian Artisan

Summer Garden Throw by Agrarian Artisan

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Darleen Hopkins Interview Gift A-long 2019

Darleen Hopkins Interview Gift A-long 2019

Darleen Hopkins, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Darleen Hopkins, who is a crochet designer taking part in the Indie Design Gift A-Long.

Hello! Thank you so much for this opportunity.  I’m a crochet designer who designs a little bit of everything.  I believe life should be filled with laughter and love and my designs reflect that.  I’ve been married for going on 23 years now and have two boys/young men.  We live in beautiful north Georgia, US and can often be found hiking in the gorgeous nature that surrounds us.  We have been fortunate to have completed three cross-country road trips and have traveled, with the boys, to 49 states!  I’m not sure if I have actually crocheted in all those states, but it’s pretty close.   Now that the boys are growing up, my husband and I talk about traveling the US in an RV.  If we ever get one I’ll be sure to get one with plenty of room for yarn.    

Black Raspberry Shawl, Shawlette, Scarf by Darleen Hopkins

Black Raspberry Shawl, Shawlette, Scarf
by Darleen Hopkins

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

I initially learned to crochet when I was a child.  My sister taught me what she learned from lessons she took at the local library. I never did much then but retaught myself in 2005 using a booklet/hook kit.  It came back pretty quick.  In 2008 I taught myself to knit using online videos.  My dad had mentioned he tried to learn to knit in the 50s because he wanted a pair of knit argyle socks but wasn’t successful.  So I learned and made him a pair for his 80th birthday.  He just turned 90 and still wears them.  I haven’t knitted since as I have been too busy with crochet.

 Cute as a Button Baby Blanket © Darleen Hopkins

Cute as a Button Baby Blanket © Darleen Hopkins

What made you want to start designing?

Once I started crocheting I immediately began to experiment with patterns.  I’d want to see what would happen if I tried a different stitch or technique.  Then I started crocheting silly hats for a group that collected them for children going through chemo treatments.  They were hats that I made up making whatever came to mind.  I received a lot of complements on those hats and realized others may want to make them as well.  So I wrote out the patterns.  Then a friend of mine was getting married and I designed a throw blanket as a wedding gift.  On a whim I submitted the design to a crochet magazine and it was accepted for publication.  There was no stopping me at that point and I’ve been designing and writing patterns ever since.

I crochet when I can and love the creative outlet design offers me. 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/zinnia-votive

Zinnia Votive by Darleen Hopkins

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I LOVE to design crochet patterns that are easy so that others may enjoy the craft as much as I do. It makes me so happy when crocheters send me or post online photos of projects made from my patterns.  Seeing completed projects made from my patterns is the best part of designing.   

What inspires you?

My family. When I look back at my design profile I see my family.  There are hats I designed for my boys to wear to silly hat day at school, hats designed specifically for my husband because he didn’t want anything tight on his head, blanket designs my mother suggested, designs I asked my kids to help with the math calculations, designs inspired by the extracurricular activities my kids participated in at school, family members as models, etc. I could go on and on.  I design for my family and my portfolio is a reflection of that.  
 
Christmas Elf Baby Bib by Darleen Hopkins

Christmas Elf Baby Bib
by Darleen Hopkins

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

Part-time.  Family is always priority.  And then there’s my job and my husband’s business and my contributions to that, and the household chores and obligations….I crochet and design when I can fit it in.  

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

While I love designing all sorts of items, I really love designing baby blankets.  Who doesn’t love making things for babies?  We received some amazing handmade baby blankets as gifts when our boys were born so maybe that is why I love to design them so much.  And there’s so many options.  They can be simple or complex, sweet or silly, gender specific or gender neutral.  Lots of options.
 
Patchwork Baby Kitty Throw Blanket by Darleen Hopkins

Patchwork Baby Kitty Throw Blanket by Darleen Hopkins

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

Very little.  It is just a few days before Christmas and I still have to make the very small stocking stuffers I plan to make for my boys!

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

A potholder!  I LOVE potholders!  And the sillier they are, the better.  Potholders are used everyday, they can be made with scraps, and you can never have too many.  I participated in a couple potholder swaps before and really enjoyed seeing what everyone came up with.   I hope to get back to the group in 2020. 
 
Owl Always Love You Amigurumi by Darleen Hopkins

Owl Always Love You Amigurumi by Darleen Hopkins

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

In general, I love cotton and cotton blends.  Probably my favorite yarn is one that is, unfortunately, no longer available.  It was an organic, colorgrown cotton.  The yarn came in a variety of tans and greens, all of which were the natural color of the cotton.  I never knew cotton grew in colors other than white.  When I first started crocheting I made a huge log cabin style throw blanket, all in hdc, in this yarn. It took forever but is super soft and great to snuggle under.

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

There are many designs that have stories behind them on how the came to be but I believe my favorite is the Patchwork Baby Kitty Blanket.  My youngest son suggested the design and was a significant helper in the design process.  I wrote a blog post about it. (link:  https://crochetbydarleenhopkins.com/2016/03/20/the-story-behind-the-baby-kitty-patchwork-throw-blanket-crochet-pattern/)
 
Peppermint Pals Hot Pad Set by Darleen Hopkins

Peppermint Pals Hot Pad Set by Darleen Hopkins

 

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I wasn’t able to do much designing in 2019 but I did manage to publish a pattern that had been “in the queue” for some time. The Cute as a Button Baby Blanket (see above).  Aren’t all babies cute as a button?  And I’m working on a design for dog lovers.  It’ll be a blanket but that is all I can reveal at this time.  I hope to publish it in early 2020.  (link:  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cute-as-a-button-baby-blanket)

What’s your favourite colour?

I love blues and anything that goes with blues-greens, purples and berry colors.

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

I’ve participated in the Indie Gift Along every year since the beginning. I’d love to be more involved as time allows.  I love the camaraderie among the designers and the interaction with the participants.  The Indie Gift Along is great and I look forward to it every year.
 
Blue Rivers Hat by Darleen Hopkins

Blue Rivers Hat by Darleen Hopkins

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

In general I’m really inspired by the first time participates-the ones who worked hard publishing patterns so they would have the minimum number of patterns available in order to participate.  It’s a great motivator as the event can be a lot of fun for all involved.  Another great thing about the Indie Gift Along is learning about other designers.  I’ve discovered some amazing, talented people every year.  One designer that really stood out to me this year is Irina Mulyavko.  Her amigurumi work is about the cutest I’ve ever seen. (link:https://www.ravelry.com/designers/irina-mulyavko)

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Claire Slade Interview Gift A-long 2019

Claire Slade Interview Gift A-long 2019

Claire Slade, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Claire Slade, aka VerilyKnits who is a knitwear designer.

Cat Stack by Claire Slade

Cat Stack by Claire Slade

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

I learnt as a child but was terrible at it, I’m left handed and never really mastered holding the needles. I decided to try again about 12 years ago and haven’t looked back.

What made you want to start designing?

When my eldest son was about 4 he really wanted a hat with trains on it and I couldn’t find a pattern so I made my own, after that I realised that I enjoy the design process as much as the knitting.
Ice Lake Slippers by Claire Slade

Ice Lake Slippers by Claire Slade

 

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I really like all of the process; from sketching ideas, to choosing yarn, all of the maths and knitting up the sample.
 

What inspires you?

Recently much of my work has been inspired by nature, I’m lucky enough to live right between Constable country on one side and the coast on the other, so I’m surrounded by beautiful nature.
Knit Around Cowl by Claire Slade

Knit Around Cowl by Claire Slade

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I am now a full-time designer, its wonderful that I can fit work in around my children but during busy times my working hours often include evenings and weekends. Working from home can be wonderful but it can also be difficult maintaining a work/life balance.
 

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

Probably hats, they’re like blank canvases just waiting for something to be added. Although that being said I am a bit obsessed with shawls at the moment and have three on the needles.
Ipheion Hat by Claire Slade

Ipheion Hat by Claire Slade

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I wear my own hat samples quite a lot, they’re quick to knit new samples if necessary. I rarely knit any gifts now, everyone gets baked gifts for Christmas instead.
 

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

Socks! I love hand knitted socks but never seem to have the time to make myself some new ones.

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

My favourite yarn is usually whatever I am working with at the moment so can change from week to week. At the moment I am loving Truly Hooked sock yarn and Sweet Georgia DK
 
 

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

Probably Knit, Around. I love creating colourwork patterns, the challenge of turning something from a sketch to a stranded motif is fun.
 

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

One of my most recent designs, the Woodland Loafers, took me 7 slippers before I got to the final pattern, there is so much different shaping and different techniques involved that the design process took longer than expected (but was definitely worth it)
Woodland Loafers by Claire Slade

Woodland Loafers by Claire Slade

What’s your favourite colour?

Red or green, I love bright shades.

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

This is, I think, my 5th year taking part and I love it, its usually the only time of the year that I get to spend time knitting someone elses patterns. This year I have been exceptionally busy but I have managed to knit a cowl and I’m hoping to possibly knit myself some shortie socks before Christmas.

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

I’m always drawn to bright and multi coloured designs, Lesley Anne Robinson and Paolo Albergamo have some stunning shawl patterns. Plus I love cute crochet, Kate Hancock creates some of the sweetest creatures.

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Anna Johanna Interview Gift A-long 2019

Anna Johanna Interview Gift A-long 2019

Anna Johanna, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Anna Johanna, who is a knitwear designer from the tiny northern country of Finland.

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

Here in Finland kids are taught to crochet already in kindergarten and to knit in elementary school. So that’s on 3rd grade but I think my mum had already taught me to knit a bit earlier.

What made you want to start designing?

As a kid, I dreamed of being a fashion designer. I don’t have the skills for that but this is pretty close!
Alho by Anna Johanna

Alho by Anna Johanna

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I have a PhD in statistics so grading and solving all that knit math is the best.
Harmas by Anna Johanna

Harmas by Anna Johanna

What inspires you?

Yarn and photography. Usually, I either get inspired by the yarn. Or then I have an idea of the FO photo I want to take and then I have to knit the FO for the photo. smiley

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I’ve been a researcher at the university for years. Couple years ago I started my knit design company on the side and it has been super busy for the past two years. But now, I actually have so really exciting news as come New Year, I’ll start designing full time!
 
Zopflicious by Anna Johanna

Zopflicious by Anna Johanna

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I love designing sweaters and cardigans – mainly, because that’s what I like to knit. Shawls and socks are lovely too but they’re too quick to finish. I like having projects that take some time so you get to enjoy to project longer.

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I make almost all my samples for me, so I do have lots of time for selfish knitting. But I do love to knit gifts. Few years ago, for to consecutive Christmases, I made all the gifts by hand. That was a lot.
 
Xenakis by Anna Johanna

Xenakis by Anna Johanna

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

Socks and shawls.

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

Not a specific yarn. I have favorite yarn bases. I love high twist base for socks and merino singles for shawls. And in recent years, I’ve been delving deeper and deeper into non-superwash wools. I love the natural feel.
Ruso Socks by Anna Johanna

Ruso Socks by Anna Johanna

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

I think my all-time favorite has to be Harmas sweater (see photo above). It’s knit in non-superwash Kainuu grey (Finnish wool!) and it has all my favorite things at the moment: a tall brioche collar, boxy shape with a cropped hem. And the best thing about it are the extra long sleeves and folded cuffs with thumb holes. No need for mitts with this one!
Rohdin by Anna Johanna

Rohdin by Anna Johanna

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I just released a sweater design called Alho (see above) and it is the most personal design I’ve made so far. It’s named after the farm that my great grandfather bought, where my grandfather was raised, and then my mother. Now, it belongs to my aunt. I’ve never lived there myself but it is the land where my roots are. The sweater is a luxurious blend of cashmere, wool and mohair/silk. And it has this delicate lace insert in the yoke that’s worked with just the lace weight mohair/silk. The lace reminds me of grains and soil – hence the name after my roots.
 

What’s your favourite colour?

This is a fun question since people often laugh when I’m asked about this. I’m into what I like to call non-colors. All the hundred shades of white, light grey and dusty pinks. Anything with absolutely no contrast. I’m often teased about picking too low contrasts for colorwork and stripe projects. Though, when it comes to socks, I like go wild and pick vibrant colors.

 

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

This is my third year joining in GAL. It has been amazing seeing the community interact. I also love seeing how many people knit Christmas gifts. heart

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

There are many! But to mention few, I adore Abbye Knits’ photos. Megan Nodecker has an awesome style and I’m absolutely going to cast on for the Persian Dreams blanket by Jenise Hope some day soon!

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Heddi Craft Interview Gift A-long 2019

Heddi Craft Interview Gift A-long 2019

Heddi Craft, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Heddi Craft, tell us a little about yourself please Heddi.

Heddi is a knitwear designer in Santa Cruz, CA, where she lives with her husband and three teenagers.  She teaches knitting and crochet classes in the area and also enjoys weaving, spinning, and working with her reproduction hand-crank circular sock machine.  She has had patterns published in Knit Picks collections, in Knitty, Knotions, and I Like Knitting, and her self published patterns can be found on Ravelry, LoveCrafts, and PatternVine.

CSM Cookbook by Heddi Craft

CSM Cookbook by Heddi Craft

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

I learned to crochet when I was six years old and was taught by my mom.  My first project was a scarf I made for my best friend at the time. It was longer than she was tall and was much wider on the end that I started with because I gradually lost stitches, but I was very proud of it!  I learned to knit the first time in college when I made an “ugly square” that was supposed to turn into a scarf. The person who taught me was a thrower (English style) and that’s how she taught me. When my kids were little, I came back to knitting due to peer pressure!  All the mamas were knitting for their babies and I wanted to join in! This time I learned to pick (continental style), which is much more like crochet, and picking up knitting was much easier that second time around!

What made you want to start designing?

After I started knitting, I discovered I really loved lace.  In 2014, I saw a class on Craftsy (now Bluprint) about lace shawl design and I purchased it.  It was amazing and I discovered I really enjoyed the process of designing. I love it all– I love swatching and finding out how yarns interact with pattern, I love the charting out of the design, I love testing the design in my sample, I even enjoy the writing up of the pattern and making it reproducible for other knitters.  Designing is a perfect combination of creativity and mathematical/logical thinking for me.

Heddi Craft's Beginner Shawl

Heddi Craft’s Beginner Shawl

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

Swatching.  When you swatch, going between different pattern ideas and different yarns, it’s like doodling.  I keep notebooks full of swatches, because I sometimes go back to something that doesn’t work for one idea and use it for another project.  When I first started knitting, I didn’t really like swatching, but as a designer, I love it!

What inspires you?

I get my inspiration from a variety of sources.  Sometimes it’s a yarn that speaks to me, sometimes a stitch pattern in a stitch dictionary (I own a whole shelf full of them), sometimes it’s the shape of a garment I see when I’m standing in line somewhere, sometimes a particular color or texture in nature.  I keep a pad and pencil by my bed, and end up with little sketches scattered all over my night stand, because all those ideas seem to come together as I fall asleep or when I’m waking up.  

I’ve also been inspired to write some simple patterns for classes that I teach so that I can teach a specific skill through the pattern.  These often turn out to also be great gift patterns.

Tempo Cowl by Heddi Craft

Tempo Cowl by Heddi Craft

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I’m a part time designer.  Family is very important to me and I think to be a full time designer, I’d also need to do a lot of teaching and traveling to diversify my income enough to really make a go of it.  I just don’t want to spend that much time away from home and my kids. I’m a certified teacher so I also teach part time in a public school, which cuts into my designing time. 

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I love designing lace shawls.  The shapes you can work with is infinite and I love the process of combining textures and creating new combinations.  I love how lace goes from looking like a crumpled hankie on the needles to being so elegant and graceful once it’s blocked.

River House Shawly by Heddi Craft

River House Shawl by Heddi Craft

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I take time to make things both for myself and for gifts.  I learn a lot by working with other designer’s patterns and seeing how they do various constructions and solve different design and pattern writing problems.  

 

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

A cardigan.  I’m really enjoying the open front cardigans I have made for myself and would love to have more.  They are such a versatile clothing item for our area where it can be cool in the morning, warm by afternoon, and back to chilly at night.

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

I love Anzula yarns and Hazel Knits yarns for their colors and for their luxury feel, but I also really like working with Knit Picks yarns, which I think are great yarns for budget minded knitters who also want a lot of choices in a reasonable price range. 

All three companies have great people who love to knit and who support their customers well.

Marled Shrug by Heddi Craft

Marled Shrug by Heddi Craft

 

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

That’s tough.  My favorite always seems to be the design I most recently finished, so right now I’m pretty excited about the Marled Shrug.  But if I had to pick a long term favorite, it might be my shawl called Roxanne. Roxanne was designed in honor of my midwife who was with me for the birth of all three of my children and who passed away in April of 2016. It was my tribute to her amazing life and to all she gave to the mothers in my area.  Every motif in that design has a special meaning and represents something about her or my relationship with her.

Roxanne Shawl by Heddi Craft

Roxanne Shawl by Heddi Craft

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I have a few projects being published next year in other publications that are still under wraps that I’d love to share but can’t just yet.  

One thing I’d like to mention is that I also have anebook of patterns for hand crank circular sock machines available on Ravelry.  I got into these amazing machines a few years ago. They’ve been around since the 1800’s and have changed very little, so they are a piece of history.  Hand crank sock machines work a bit like a flat bed knitting machine but the latch hook style needles are arranged on a cylinder so that you knit a tube.  You do some hand manipulation on the machine to knit the heels and toes and then finish the sock by hand much as you would a hand knit sock. I started making detailed checklist style patterns for myself for making different styles of socks and ended up publishing 12 of them in an ebook along with extensive information about how to calculate gauge, get the size sock you want from the machine, and so on.  It’s a fun niche in the knitting world that I’ve really enjoyed exploring!

Simple Baby Socks by Heddi Craft

Simple Baby Socks by Heddi Craft

What’s your favourite colour?

Green for myself.  But I love all jewel tones and muted pastels in designing.

Coffee Cup Cozy by Heddi Craft

Coffee Cup Cozy by Heddi Craft

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

This is my fourth year in the GAL and my third as a moderator.  I love this event because I think it’s a great way to promote all the wonderful work that indie designers produce and I love the atmosphere of the forums.  They are so supportive and encouraging!

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

Let’s see, there are several crochet designers that just do some amazing things with their crochet designs such as Natalia Kononova, Tatsiana Kupryianchyk, and Jennifer Percival.  I love Lisa Chemery’s baby sweaters because they are so clear and well laid out.  I love how AbbyeKnits works with texture on her designs.  And I’m always inspired by Kristen TenDyke’s seamless sweater designs.

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

Blog: http://www.thecraftstudio.com/heddicraftdesigns

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/heddicraftdesigns

Ravelry pattern store: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/heddi-craft

Instagram: http://instagram.com/heddicraft

 
 

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Darlene Swaim Interview Gift A-long 2019

Darlene Swaim Interview Gift A-long 2019

Darlene Swaim, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Darlene Swaim, aka lotuslady tell us a little about yourself please Darlene.

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

My mother taught me how to knit when I was around 8 years old and I taught myself to crochet when I was 11.

What made you want to start designing?

When I was growing up I was influenced by my father always drawing/painting/welding/doing something artistic. My mother did some knitting and weaving. Making things was just a natural thing for me. My desire to design was inspired by my father – I wanted to create things that were my own design, not just someone else’s design. Dad’s work was original, I wanted my own original work.
Dogs Love Christmas by Darlene Swaim

Dogs Love Christmas by Darlene Swaim

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I often design something specific for someone special in mind. I like coming up with a design that I know that person will enjoy. Then there are times that I have design because it just needs to be made, such as the dragon, phoenix and unicorn stockings. I enjoy that feeling I get when the lines come together to make the design just right.
Christmas Cardinal Stocking by Darlene Swaim

Christmas Cardinal Stocking by Darlene Swaim

What inspires you?

Caring. Connecting with someone, finding out what they enjoy.

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I would say part-time because health issues determine how much energy I have and carpel tunnel determines how much time I can put into actual knitting.
Christmas Phoenix Stocking by Darlene Swaim

Christmas Phoenix Stocking by Darlene Swaim

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I love to design stockings. I put the following statements on my stockings bundle page and it really says best how I feel about designing them – “I think of my stockings as an opportunity to make a piece of artwork that reflects a person’s personality. The stockings aren’t just decorations for the season, but decorations/art for the soul.”
 
Celtic Sheep Stocking by Darlene Swaim

Celtic Sheep Stocking by Darlene Swaim

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I like keeping this in balance. I find that if I make time to make something for me, then I enjoy making things for others a whole lot more. I feel overwhelmed if I’m focusing on just making something for others. I have a grandbaby coming in January so I’ve been making things that my daughter requested, but I’ve made sure to balance it out with making a couple of things for myself as well.
Miniature Halloween Stockings Darlene Swaim

Miniature Halloween Stockings Darlene Swaim

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

I do love a good pair of fingerless mitts.

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

When it comes to making my stocking designs I love to use the Cascade 220 yarn because it’s sturdy and the stockings hold their shape well after blocking. For making something for me, I love yarns with a little silk or cashmere in them.
Dragon Spirit Stockings Darlene Swaim

Dragon Spirit Stockings Darlene Swaim

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

Oh, this is tough, but I really love the dragon stockings….because they’re dragons. LOL.

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I’m hoping to challenge myself in the new year to apply some of my designs to something other than a stocking…such as a bag or a pillow, to design something that can be used year round.
Cats Rule Christmas Stocking Darlene Swaim

Cats Rule Christmas Stocking Darlene Swaim

What’s your favourite colour?

Ooh, this one is tough to answer as well because I love playing with colors, but I tend to love purples the most.

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

Yes, this is my second year as a designer. I love how the main focus is on supporting each other as designers, not on our personal promotion. And there is a lot of support given to the participants as well such as sharing pattern suggestions, but also cheer leading their efforts.

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

Sarah – Sarah’s designs because her gnomes are bringing joy to so many people.

You – your designs– because your patterns are joyful as well, and you work so hard to be supportive during the GAL.

Darlene Swaim Interview Gift A-long 2019 1

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

Facebook – Darlene Swaim

Instagram – darleneswaim – darleneswaim

Ravelry pattern store: My design store
 
 

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Woolly Madly Deeply Online Yarn Shop Cumbria UK

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